Do You Have What It Takes to Open A Home Catering Business?
What exactly makes a good caterer? Talk to 10 different caterers, and you will get 10 different opinions and profiles. Catering is made up of so many different elements, such as dealing with customers, pricing the party, planning and preparing the food, and serving and delivering, that it is hard to say what the most important qualities you need to possess if you are interested in becoming a caterer. One thing that is absolutely mandatory is that you are able to provide a good product and be able to sell it well.
In able to do that, there are several qualities that are useful, no matter what kind of food you prepare and serve. The fact is that catering is a business that is dependent on thorough planning and sound organization. You have to have those qualities or be willing to learn how to become one.
If you are concerned about your organizational skills, you could consider starting out catering with a specific food, such as cakes, bread, or sandwiches, that will require a little less organization ability. You could also offer only a limited selection of food and no, or little services. You could also establish a standard price list that would free you up from having to keeping making quotes and adjusting to budgets. You will still need to meet schedules, but the logistics will be much less complex.
Another helpful quality for a caterer is being pretty good with numbers. A caterer has to make quotations and create menus to match budgets.
Since catering is a service industry, another helpful attribute is an interest in dealing with the public. You have to like to talk to people, and feel comfortable around them. You need to be able to listen to their needs and desires, and to be relaxed enough around people to offer suggestions of how to best serve them.
You need to be able to spend long periods of time on your feet. Catering is cooking, setting up, serving, and cleaning up, so there is very little sitting time. Stamina is an important attribute, and you might want to first buy a good pair of comfortable, sturdy shoes.
You have to have a calm demeaner, and not panic or have a melt-down, because things do and will go wrong. In the catering business, there are always emergencies.
Of course, no one is the perfect combination of desirable catering qualities, and many of these things are really just a matter of learning and practice. And the desire to succeed in your home catering business will overcome many deficiencies.